I’m back! After a substantial period of time in hiding, I have re-appeared and should be back for at least a little bit. And I start with a generic question: how thick are people nowadays?
Now, this will no doubt raise some very sensitive issues. This year saw teenagers across the UK actually achieve worse results in their GCSE’s than in comparative years, so the argument that “exams are getting easier” is either incorrect, or people actually are getting thicker. It may well be a generation thing, with kids nowadays now communicating to one another via a social media middle man. In fact, whilst perusing a popular networking site, I saw somebody’s status read as such;
“OMG, like, please don’t call me! So awkward talking in person, text me instead”.
As if having a conversation with someone was utterly beyond them, and their only means of conveying how they felt was by typing into a keyboard. It’s pathetic. I know that you are only reading this because I have laboured to use my digits in producing a document, and sending it into the worldwide domain via telekinesis, although I am working on my readers being able to read my ponderings via telegraphy, although this is probably not recommended for the most part.
I digress. Have we grown into a species through which things only happen when we don’t converse using our mouths? The Internet is a miraculous tool, but it has turned us into dribbling vegetables, a puny waste of an excuse for a Being. The amount of times I see people say “I’m bored!” and I wonder, “Well it’s no wonder. You’re sat behind a computer screen hoping for what, a bloody miracle?”
Nobody who goes and plays football, or to get drunk with their mates, or go karting, or bowling complains of its tedium, unless they’re rubbish at it or were dragged into it. Boredom is a frame of mind that one has complete control over, so if you allow yourself to get into it, then your determination and enthusiasm is the cause of your ennui. Only by doing things and keeping the synapses active can we stave away any monotony, so the moral of this story is go out there and “Carpe Diem”.
And for those of you who didn’t do Latin, it means ‘seize the day’.
This brings me neatly onto another point. Whilst compiling my research for an article I wrote years back on University and naff degrees, I found out that you could study for a degree in Maple Syrup from the Alfred University, whereas if a Canadian staple didn’t take your fancy, and you happened to be more intrigued by copulation by an entirely different species, then a Degree in Alien Sex from the University of Rochester (*Virginia, not Kent) is perfect for you. It seems there really is a Degree for absolutely anything, and any job you apply for, you must have a Degree.
I’m really not joking. Someone I know went in for an application to help out at the Olympics behind the scenes, and the job entailed not much more than shepherding people around so they got to the right places safely, and the first question in the interview was “what degree do you have?”
Now I’m sorry, but why would a graduate be doing such a job? And what degree could you possibly attain from an establishment that is in any way pertinent? Training in being a Security Guard is a four day course for the basic level, and to be honest, the hard work is done by the metal barriers in cutting off no go areas and regulating flow of people. So you could employ any numpty, stick him in a classroom for less than a week, and then he’d be suitably qualified to frisk people and let them into the ground.
Not that having a degree automatically means that people are bright. I have actually grown sick and tired of people getting basic grammatical points wrong, that I have been affectionately been referred to by a family member as a “grammar Nazi”. Well, if it means people take heed of their wrongdoings and start formulating sentences in an acceptable manner, then “Seig Heil”!
What has particularly annoyed me recently is people writing the writing form of words, such as ‘too’ and ‘to’, ‘your’ and “you’re” , ‘their’ and ‘there’. I did a test this morning, and my niece got it absolutely spot on, and she’s about to enter Year 5. A 9 year old knows the difference, so why don’t supposedly “educated” people? Is it a failing of the English education system? Obviously not, so what can be the reason?
Personally, I think it’s down to lax attitudes. Whenever I mark a quiz (and where I work, I am a legendary quizmaster), I am often held to ransom for my harshness, because people have incorrectly spelt the answer.
“Aww, but it sounds like it…”
Pens is penis without the ‘I’, the word ‘ton’ sounds like ‘fun’, and there’s a significant difference punctuation wise between the sentences “let’s eat, Grandma”, and “let’s eat Grandma”.
So I am going to be critical of people’s speech, spelling and grammar for a number of reasons. Chief among which is I am a miserable git. Secondly, although I have had a top notch education at one of the best schools in the country, I don’t think it is beyond the education system to expect people to be able to converse with one another correctly, be that through whichever medium they decide to communicate.
But perhaps the most important reason why people should get things right is because Grandma’s life is at stake if you don’t apply a comma in the correct place. Punctuation saves lives.
That’s one moral to my piece. But I think ultimately what I want you to take out of this article is my bemoaning of the ever decreasing physical conversations we now have with other people. A chat with an old friend in a coffee shop will always be more satisfying than a text or a facebook message, and you can judge emotion there and then, rather than those stupid faces that if you pulled in real life after speech, people would think you were related to Jimmy Savile.
So next time, please, speak to one another. Because most of you evidently can’t spell.